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Three-peat
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Photo courtesy of Painted Barn Media Terry Hines, left, and Jalyn Mart battle for position in Friday's matchup. Boyd beat Covenant for the third time, 44-40.
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Photo courtesy of Painted Barn Media Bryson Stiles, right, skies to block a shot during round three of the Boyd-Covenant rivalry Friday night. The Broncos have won all three matchups.

Nobody needed to give Boyd any spoilers about Friday’s matchup with Covenant. They’ve already seen the ending too many times.

The Broncos continued their domination of the local rivalry with the Lions, winning 44-40 in the opening round of the Knights Christmas Classic in Smyrna. It was the third victory for Boyd over Covenant this season, all coming in the last month.

“They played us tough. Familiar opponents are tough are really tough to play,” said Boyd coach Chris Perry. “It was a one-possession game down the stretch. Our guys thrive under pressure. We made clutch free throws and got clutch stops.”

Christian Rogers continued his domination of the Lions, scoring 14 points to lead the Broncos. Rogers, who averages 13.4 points per game, has scored 48 points in three meetings against the Lions.

Jalyn Mart added 14 points for the Lions, while Bryson Stiles and Cain Buckner scored four points each.

Still stinging from surrendering a 10-point lead late in the Dec. 12 matchup at Covenant, the Lions had hoped to get their revenge eight days later. Instead, Covenant again struggled to get backets late.

“(We had) Too many defensive breakdowns to win a game in shortened game,” said Covenant coach Ryan Smith. “We didn’t get to the free-throw line enough in the second half and didn’t finish enough shots at the rim. We have to bring the mental toughness along with physical toughness.”

The Lions got a game-high 16 points from Ethan Hillis. David Netherton was next with 13, while Terry Hines netted six.

Both teams continued play in the Knights Christmas Classic Saturday. More information about their tournament runs can be found on www.southernstandard.com.